Part of my Knowledge Repository.
- I find it useful to divide happiness into happiness of the experiencing self, feeling joy in the moment, and happiness of the remembering self, looking back at the action and feeling satisfied that it happened.
- I deliberately optimised blog posts for the ability to say in conversation “oh, I have a blog post about this”
- So, by deliberately not editing, I’ve sped up by seven times
- My underlying model of perfectionism is that it comes from loss aversion - I can see flaws in what I produce, and it feels awful to make anything with flaws. But the opportunity costs of the time I spend fixing the flaws doesn’t feel visceral - I’m losing all the other things I could be doing, but they aren’t concrete. While the flaws are!
- I’ve learned that, at least for blogging, my perception of flaws is awful - a far better way to be grounded is to listen to feedback, than listen to my own neurotic intuitions
- This project originally began because my productivity coach noticed that I was very resistant to committing to any solution ideas we came up with that seemed imperfect. And suggested that I practice setting myself an ambitious commitment and keeping to it, to practice the general skill of overcoming reluctance and committing
- Conceptual clarity is by far the biggest value-add in a blog post. Taking a fuzzy intuition, making it crisp, giving it a name, and giving the reader tools for dealing with it
- Accordingly, the goal is to convey concepts well. This means that the first paragraph is by far the most important - that’s what locates the article in the space of all possible things, and tells the reader what it’s about. Screwing this up means they may completely miss the point.
- People seem to enjoy a stream of consciousness, fairly chatty style? I get positive feedback on being casual, making jokes, and heavily overusing italics
- Examples are awesome.
- Micro-examples - a short example you give along with a point, to give the reader more context with the point, add intuition, and ensure it lands correctly
- Motivating examples - when communicating an idea, readers may be initially skeptical. Motivating examples make it clear that things are important, make it relatable and personal, and help motivate the reader to care and take action (and to continue reading!)
- Actionable examples. These are a way to take an abstract point and make it concrete, by giving a flood of concrete examples. As many examples as possible, ideally personal ones. The point is to provide the reader with inspiration and ideas, and to make it clear that things can translate into meaningful action change.
- Just because something feels scary, doesn’t mean it is. I am more capable than I give myself credit for.
- The biggest failure mode is that you do nothing, not that you do something badly.
How I’m applying this
In my writing and, more generally, on my blog I have embraced the idea that very little to no editing can be even more useful if I have a much higher output. There are some great specific ideas to incorporate in future blog posts here, like including more articles and to aim at conveying concepts well, putting extra focus on the first paragraph to properly articulate the purpose of my writing.